Being a woman in the workplace is tough stuff. But being a woman in mortgage broking can be particularly tough. That’s why there are significantly fewer female mortgage brokers than there are males – only 27% of mortgage brokers are female!
But it’s not all doom and gloom for women in our industry. Times are changing, and being a successful broker is more available to women than ever.
Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you progress your career.
Times are changing but assumptions still exist
Society is slowly coming around to the fact that women aren’t just designed to be homemakers. Females can do anything males can do, and parental responsibilities shouldn’t have to get in the way of this. Buuuuuut, that line of thinking may not necessarily be shared by all just yet.
A Mercer study found that men consider parental responsibilities to be the main barrier of entry for women into the financial services space. Conversely, women pointed to bias in decision-making, culture and lack of flexibility as key barriers to entry, before parental responsibilities.
There’s still an understanding among many that women should be primary caregivers, but this is simply not the case anymore. More often than not, women are held back in their careers by employers failing to develop an inclusive and open environment in which for them to thrive and succeed.
That being said, mortgage broking is one of the better areas of the financial service industry for women to be in because there’s no gender pay gap due to most brokers operating on a commission basis. But there are still common assumptions and biases that need to be overcome so women feel free to access the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
Confidence is a challenge
There’s no hiding from the fact that women can struggle with confidence issues much more easily than men do. A Hewlett Packard internal report found that men apply for a job or promotion when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. And LinkedIn research shows that women are 16% less likely to apply for a job after viewing it than men are.
This makes women less likely to put themselves up for a new career opportunity or promotion. It’s time for women to overcome Imposter Syndrome and feel empowered to back themselves and put themselves forward.
The key takeaway here is: don’t be scared! The only thing limiting you is you. What’s the worst that can happen if you go for a job you’re slightly underqualified for? There’s no reason to be afraid to be strong, confident and bold, particularly when it comes to growing your own career.
Women bring unique qualities to mortgage broking
It’s been noted that women are actually ideal for the role of mortgage broking! You have to hear more than words when a client tells you their story. You need to be able to encourage a client to be honest and trust you to guide them. Mortgage broking is a nurturing role and one that can require a soft touch just as much as it can require a strong touch. Women can display both qualities, but are much better known to connect with clients emotions than men.
Mhairi MacLeod, principal of Astute Ability Finance Group, shares that ‘a woman’s ability to build rapport is second to none’. As purchasing decisions for mortgages are often made by women between 35 and 55 years old, female mortgage brokers are in an excellent position to offer empathy and form genuine connections with customers.
Different ways of thinking aren’t always gender-based
Typically, people relate empathy, emotions and kindness with females, and assertiveness, strength and persuasiveness with males. But gender attributes aren’t as black and white as this. Everyone thinks differently, and there are a range of factors that play into how we think and behave. For example:
- Regional versus metro thinking
- Old versus young thinking
- Banking background versus new-to-industry thinking.
All perspectives and attributes are beneficial to mortgage broking and having a great mix of males and females is crucial to any industry.
Female mortgage brokers are kicking goals
As much as there’s still a way to go to boost the representation of women in the industry, it’s positive to see that women are becoming more prominent in the mortgage broking space. Check out the 2018 Top Female Brokers in Australia and what impressive goals they’re kicking!
We’ve had the pleasure of working with many impressive female mortgage brokers. Our Secrets to Success series features incredible female brokers that are bound to inspire anyone in the industry:
If you’re a female struggling to find your feet in the industry, we’d love to help you progress your career and achieve your goals. Reach out for a free career consultation.
Or, if you’re an employer struggling to recruit female brokers, we’re connected with some fantastic an inspiring women. We’d love to help you develop strategies to attract the right candidates to your business, irrespective of gender.